NORTHWICH, who had dallied with relegation for much of the season, lapped up a brief taste of glory on Saturday when they overturned the South Lancs and Cheshire League Second Division champions in the final match of the season.

A full-strength and fired-up Northwich team fought back, stuck to their task and resolutely defended a well-crafted lead to defy a shocked Widnes outfit.

Widnes scored early on through a set piece from a lineout. Fortunately for Northwich, the Widnes kicker had a dreadful afternoon and failed with this and every subsequent attempt at goal.

They continued to press but, in the second quarter, Northwich grew in confidence and increasingly raided the Widnes

22. The home defence caved in when Huw Jones streaked through to score under the posts. The normally cool Jones fluffed the easy conversion and, a few minutes later, also missed a sitter of a penalty.

Northwich upped the ante after the break and in a complete reversal of the first period, it was they who camped themselves in the Widnes half.

They were rewarded with a penalty and the tenacious Mike Gallimore stepped up to take the kick. It sailed through the uprights but Widnes, egged on by the big crowd, broke on the blind side and scored against the run of play.

Their 10-8 lead, however, was not good enough. Northwich roared back, Widnes were penalised for holding on and Gallimore slotted over his second penalty to give his team a one-point lead.

The game was sealed when man-of-the-match Gallimore ducked under the Widnes defence to score a magnificent try. He converted to complete the score and it was game, set and match to a Northwich team who for once displayed their true potential.

SANDBACH Rugby Club helped raise almost £2,000 for the John Blower Trust on Sunday.

A Sandbach Select XV, starring ex-England man Jon Sleightholme, defeated a Scottish Legends team 65-37 in front of a crowd of more than 300.

The Legends side included former Scottish internationals Craig Chalmers, Peter Wright and Derek Stark and Welsh cap Rob Ackerman.

The club had already raised more than £1,500 for the Trust.